Especially for larger communities, mailing out notices to the membership can be a significant expense to the association. Fortunately, both the Condominium Act (Ch. 718, Fla. Stat.) and the Homeowners’ Association Act (Ch. 720, Fla. Stat.) provide that an association may send certain notices and communications to a member via e-mail if the association receives written consent from that member. Chapters 718 and 720 of the Florida Statutes previously required that such authority be provided in the association’s bylaws; however, this requirement was recently removed by the Legislature. Thus, as long as a member consents in writing, the association may provide the member with electronic notice.
Note, however, that certain notices may be required to be mailed despite the association receiving consent from the member. Examples of notices that must be mailed or hand-delivered are recall meetings, notice of fining committee hearings, intent to lien and foreclose notices, etc. Moreover, the Florida Statutes or the association’s governing documents may require additional notice (i.e., posted notice in addition to e-mail notice, if consented). The association should consult with management or legal counsel if it has a question whether a certain type of notice should be mailed irrespective of whether the owner has consented to receive notice via e-mail or whether certain types of notice should be provided in addition to e-mail notice.
It should also be noted that a member may revoke his or her consent to be given electronic notice at any time. Lastly, it is important to note that the email address provided by a member who has consented to receive electronic notice must be kept as an official record of the association, which is subject to inspection by other members. Based on the foregoing, an association’s board of directors is encouraged to seek advice from legal counsel before a consent form is released to the membership so that they are fully aware of all related issues.